Blog #342: Toy Reviews: Botcon 2013 Machine Wars Termination Box Set Preview

It’s that time of year again.  Botcon has posted photoshopped pictures of the Botcon 2013 Machine Wars: Termination box set.  Before I get to my thoughts on the toys, there are a few other Botcon related items I want to mention.

First off, if you’ve read the Botcon brochure, you’ll note that the Transformers Hall of Fame event was not included and Fun Pub has since confirmed that no HoF event is planned.  I can only speculate as to why this is.  It could very well be that after the Erector nomination in 2011 that last year’s nomination of Swindle, meant to poke fun at Fun Publications for the stolen credit card information disaster, might have caused the cancellation.  It certainly could be that.  As I stated in my blog “A Letter to Aaron Archer,” Hasbro brought the Erector thing on themselves.  It could have easily gone away and instead they let it continue and then Aaron Archer added fuel to the fire by scolding the fans.  If this was the reason for the cancellation, then Hasbro and Fun Publications have no one but themselves to blame.

It could be completely unrelated.  Maybe they just realized that the whole thing was kind of silly, that without a Hall of Fame toy series, or actual Hall of Fame Museum, it was a little ridiculous.  Maybe they just sensed fans losing interest.  Maybe it was too expensive to do the videos and promotional material.  Who knows?

We may never have an actual answer from Hasbro, and any answer they give that isn’t about Erector and Swindle will likely not be believed anyway.  To me, the only unfortunate thing about the cancellation is that Scatman Crothers, the voice of Jazz from the G1 cartoon and the creators of Botcon, Jon and Karl Hartman, were not inducted.  While those omissions from the Hall of Fame are unfortunate, I can’t really say I’ll miss it.  I haven’t attended a Botcon since 2009 anyway.  I have never attended an HoF event, so really, who cares about it?

Secondly, isn’t it stupid the way they are revealing these toys?  They reveal the robot mode (which is fine) but then a week later they reveal the vehicle mode as if this is something new that everyone should get excited about.  Once you’ve seen the robot, how hard is it to know what the vehicle looks like?  I mean, seriously.  If you show me the robot mode of a purple and yellow Generations Deluxe Warpath, is anyone going to be surprised when they find out it transforms into a purple and yellow tank?  I suppose there are a few really stupid people out there who didn’t figure that out from the robot mode, but I would hope that is a minority.  I get what they are trying to do.  They want to drum up interest for registration (which will be many months later than it should have been as always).  You’d think they could come up with a better way to do it that doesn’t have people laughing at them.

Now, on to the toys.

(Click the links to see the pictures on the Botcon web site.)

Hoist

Robot

Vehicle

Hoist is a repaint of Generations Deluxe Kup.  He’s mostly black and maroon with red and yellow stripes.  He has a new head.  The head clearly seems to be modeled after G2 Electro (more on that later).

It’s not a bad toy, but it really doesn’t do anything for me.  The only real tow truck mold I can think of was Movie Deluxe Longarm, but we know that they couldn’t use that for contractual reasons, which is unfortunate.  I think I would have preferred him in yellow as Hubcap.  He still wouldn’t have been a tow truck, but Hubcap wasn’t one originally, where Hoist was.  Like I said, not a bad toy, just not at all exciting.

Grade: B

Skywarp

Robot

Vehicle

Skywarp is the dud of the set.  He’s repainted from Revenge of the Fallen Deluxe Dirge with a new head.  I really like the mold, my problem is with the paint job.  Yes, it does match Machine Wars color scheme, though his wings are at least purple, but he really should have been purple, period.  There is nothing about this toy that says “Skywarp.”  I suppose since there was nothing about Machine Wars Skywarp that says “Skywarp,” that it is okay.  Still, a Skywarp that doesn’t look like Skywarp is pretty pointless to me.  Machine Wars was, after all, an excuse to sell some toys with little thought put into it.  Had they put thought into it then he would have been colored properly.  Instead of doing it right now, they are making Hasbro’s mistake again.

Grade: C-

Strika

Robot

Vehicle

Strika, who is made from Generations Deluxe Warpath with a new head and paint job, is awesome looking.  The head sculpt is fantastic and as soon as I saw the picture, I knew she was Strika.  Her paint job is based on her animation model, which is fine, but as you’ll see later, I think they should have stuck with the toy model.

Toy Grade: A-

Obsidian

Robot

Vehicle

Obsidian is made from one of my favorite molds form the last five years, Transformers 2010 Voyager Highbrow with a new head.  He looks awesome!  He is colored after his original toy color scheme and is immediately recognizable as Obsidian.  He has a great head sculpt as well.

Toy Grade: A+

Megaplex

Robot

Vehicle

Megaplex is a repainted Transformers Prime Voyager Dreadwing/Skyquake.  This was the one I wanted to see from the moment they announced the set.  He’s a perfect choice.

Interestingly, with DW/SQ being two of the rarest toys in recent years (I’ve seen only two DWs on shelves and never seen a SQ) the Botcon toy will probably be the least rare version of the mold.

It is also worth noting that the pictures of Megaplex do not include his gun (that stupid looking Mech-Tech-like piece of garbage.  I am curious if they will include it.  My guess is yes.  Too bad they can’t use a gun from something else, but I know that would be a lot to do.

Toy Grade: A+

Souvenir Speculation

If previous years are any indication, we can expect five more toys, two souvenir two packs, a freebie, and a troop builder.

Two of the toys have been all but confirmed.  Hoist is almost certain to be repainted as Electro, though Hubcap would certainly also be an option.  Either way we can safely say he will be one of them.  Art that came out on the Botcon t-shirt shows Thundercracker repainted from Skywarp, so that would seem to be essentially confirmed as well.  Since the story, I believe, takes place in their G2 universe, this would make sense.

Strika could easily be repainted as G2 Brawl.

Since they have said that they will not use a mold three times in the same year, a Starscream repainted from Skywarp is out.

Usually one of the souvenirs is a Voyager.  Now, they did use two Voyagers in the set, so that could change, but I think a repaint of Megaplex as Megatron is at least a strong possibility, if not a rock solid lock.  I’m not sure what they could repaint Obsidian into.

It’s really hard to guess what other toys they would be doing.  The fact that Strika and Obsidian, two characters who have nothing to do with Machine Wars have been pulled in, it could literally be anything.  I guess only time will tell.

Thanks for reading!

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About lmb3

I’m 36 years old, and I work in network tech support for a public school system. I am a huge fan of Star Trek, Transformers, Harry Potter, and Marvel Comics as well as numerous other fandoms. I’m a big sports fan, especially the Boston Red Sox and the New England Patriots. I collect toys (mostly Transformers but other stuff too), comic books, and Red Sox baseball cards. I watch an obscene amount of television and love going to the movies. I am hopelessly addicted to Wizard Rock and I write Harry Potter Fanfiction, though these days I am working on a couple of different original YA novels.
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